The US State Department issued a statement indicating that the US special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, will travel to the region on Thursday. Within the scope of his visit, Lenderking will visit Saudi Arabia and Oman, where he will meet with government officials about ongoing efforts to bring an end to the years-long devastating war in Yemen.
It is expressed in the statement that Lenderking’s meetings “will focus on ensuring the regular and unimpeded delivery of commodities and humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen, promoting a lasting ceasefire, and transitioning the parties to a political process.”
Yemen has become one of the priorities in US policies since Joe Biden took office in January. As a sign of this shift, President Biden appointed Tim Lenderking as the special envoy for Yemen. Since his appointment, it is seen that Lenderking is spending intense efforts to establish a nationwide ceasefire through the collaboration of the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
Lenderking’s visit will come amid the acceleration of the Iranian-backed Houthis’ offensive towards Marib. Last week, Lenderking spoke at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. During his speech, the special envoy highlighted the ongoing conflict in Marib between the Houthi group and forces loyal to the internationally recognized government. The clash intensifying around Marib is the biggest obstacle undermining the peace efforts in the war-devastated country, Lenderking added. Also, he added that the Iranian support for the Houthi offensive is quite significant and lethal.
The US special envoy also highlighted the importance of the international and regional partners’ support in overcoming challenges that Yemen has been facing. He said, “We need our international partners to join us… We need countries like Oman.”